In its new Hanna-Barbera line of comics, DC is making official something fans have long believed: Snagglepuss, the beloved pink mountain lion that debuted in 1959, is gay.
More specifically, he is being portrayed as a “gay southern gothic playwright.” Mark Russell, the writer for the new comics, says the move is “not much of a stretch,” and the Internet seems to mostly agree with him.
Wasn't he basically that already? https://t.co/Hh8GQRmuTK
— Jeff B/DDHQ (@EsotericCD) January 31, 2017
Snagglepuss is and always was EXCEPTIONALLY gay. He was there paving the way for non humiliating characters to walk freely. He did the work.
— Sonic Colemania (@frankiesamba) February 1, 2017
Snagglepuss gets to finally come out of the closet, y'all https://t.co/GgeGqoOjv9
— Jen J Walker (@LucindaLunacy) January 31, 2017
Snagglepuss was a reoccurring character in the Yogi Bear show starting in 1960s. He often had lines that implied he had a theatrical background, such as “exit stage left.” Most fans just assumed Snagglepuss was gay because of his flamboyant behavior and (yes) his interest in theater.
Russell explained why he thinks Snagglepuss’ sexuality wasn’t explicitly stated until now. “[I]t’s never discussed and it’s obviously ignored in the cartoons ’cuz they were made at a time when you couldn’t even acknowledge the existence of such a thing, but it’s still so obvious,” he said. “So it’s natural to present it in a context where everybody knows, but it’s still closeted.”
What is a little shocking is that Russell’s decision to bring Snagglepuss out of the closet wasn’t met with any real blowback. Usually when comics or movies make changes to already established characters, fans or critics will find any excuse to complain.
The reason this didn’t happen this time is probably just because no one is shocked. What would be shocking is if in the next Flintstones comic, Fred and Barney came out as gay—something more than $3 million in federal research grants have gone toward “proving.”